Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Iran

Closure of Iran-Kurdistan border pushes some to turn to smuggling

By Rudaw 7/12/2017
--
KURDISTAN REGION-IRAN BORDER – Following Iran’s decision to close its borders with the Kurdistan Region in late September, some Kurds in Iran who used to work at the official borders have turned to the often dangerous paths of smuggling.

The smugglers, semi-legal cross-border porters known locally as kolbars, climb the mountains on the border, facing the dangers of live fire from the border guards and mine fields.

Some of those interviewed by Rudaw say the border closure pushed them to turn to smuggling.

"It’s been two months that the border has been closed. None of us could have earned 100,000 toman ($28) for his family since then,” a kolbar told Rudaw.

“Those who want to have a source of living, like me, will come to this mountain to work. They come to this place to smuggle goods. This will expose us to being killed, freezing and many other things."

They mostly smuggle alcohol and cigarettes into Iran, items banned under the Islamic laws of the Iranian government. Trading these items in Iran can result in a three-year prison sentence and a $28.00 fine.

Border guards have standing orders to shoot any of these kolbars on sight if they refuse to surrender. About 165 kolbars have been killed in 2017 and 150 injured.

They receive $30 for each box they carry across the border, over a dangerous path where winter temperatures drop below zero.

"I don't know whether or not I can make it across the border or if I will be killed,” another kolbar said.

For those who use horses to smuggle items, the path is even more difficult. They have to cross the border at night because they are an easier target in the daylight

"If there were 500 horses two months ago before the borders closed, it is now possible that there are 1,000. If the people are pushed to go hungry, they are then forced to come to the mountains. People here who lose their goods or whose horses are shot dead are very angry,” said a kolbar who owns a horse.

Out of three official border crossings between the Kurdistan Region and Iran, only one is currently open.

Comments

 
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Shkak | 12/17/2017 9:35:51 AM
Kurd, remain confident your state will emerge victorious .
The DAY of the KURDISH NATION | 12/17/2017 10:00:32 AM
On this day of the Kurdish Flag, the Kurdish boy is here to suggest to the competent Kurdish institutions and the citizenship in general to create...
Flag of Kurdistan proudly raised high at Flag Day events
| 5 hours ago | (2)
duroi | 12/17/2017 6:27:01 AM
So far the case against the Turkish banker Atilla is very weak and it all depends on the examination of Atilla by the prosecutors next week. If they...
Judge in Iran sanctions trial slams 'foreign conspiracy theory'
| 8 hours ago | (1)
guest2002 | 12/15/2017 7:43:15 PM
these two families seem to lack the ability to understand that kurds of bashur need more than just these family. just because he is someone's...
Azad | 12/17/2017 4:08:01 AM
Is this a joke or somebody try to Establish a pattern for hereditary in political parties. Qubad is a good guy or not should not be the issue here....
Qubad Talabani tipped for top PUK position: officials
| 14/12/2017 | (9)
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 12/16/2017 8:43:49 PM
Abadi chose to climb on the tiger's back and ride ... No matter what happens eventually, do not pity him.
duroi | 12/17/2017 3:18:54 AM
How come UN Security Council swiftly votes against the democratic exercise of referendum in Tuz Khurmatu and Kurdish areas, but it fails after 2...
UN probe confirms 100s of houses, businesses burned or bombed in Tuz Khurmatu
| 18 hours ago | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

0.141 seconds